ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION MOVEMENT AND INTERNATIONAL TREATIES AND CONVENTIONS

By:y Heena Adhikari y Nitasha Kapoor y Tarun Bajpai

INTRODUCTION
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The environmental movement, a term that includes the conservation, is a diverse scientific, social, and political movement for addressing environmental issues. Environmentalists advocate the sustainable management of resources and stewardship of the environment through changes in public policy and individual behavior. In its recognition of humanity as a participant in (not enemy of) ecosystems, the movement is centered on ecology, health, and human rights.

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The roots of the modern environmental movement can be traced to attempts in nineteenth-century Europe and North America to expose the costs of environmental negligence, notably disease, as well as widespread air and water pollution, but only after the Second World War did a wider awareness begin to emerge.

This conference led directly to the creation of government environmental agencies and the UN Environment Program. the Endangered Species Act. the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment was held in Stockholm. and for the first time united the representatives of multiple governments in discussion relating to the state of the global environment. y . the Clean Air Act.y In 1972. and the National Environmental Policy Actthe foundations for current environmental standards. The United States also passed new legislation such as the Clean Water Act.

Whether through reforestation. y . as well as traditional (hunting. recycling. trapping) and spiritual use. or pollution control.Scope of the movement y The conservation movement seeks to protect natural areas for sustainable consumption. environmental conservation sustains the natural quality of life. Environmental conservation is the process in which one is involved in conserving the natural aspects of the environment. fishing.

y Environmental health movement dates at least to Progressive Era. and focuses on urban standards like clean water. and other concerns specific to human well-being. Environmental health is also seen as an indicator for the state of the environment. aging. Environmental health could also deal with nutrition. and stable population growth. efficient sewage handling. preventive medicine. or an early warning system for what may happen to humans .

y Bright green environmentalism is a currently popular sub-movement. in and for itself. as its primary value. which emphasizes the idea that through technology.Deep Ecology is an ideological spinoff of the ecology movement that views the diversity and integrity of the planetary ecosystem. sustainable lives while enjoying prosperity. good design and more thoughtful use of energy and resources. people can live responsible. y .

Major anti-nuclear groups include Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.y The anti-nuclear movement opposes the use of various nuclear technologies. Friends of the Earth. Greenpeace. mainly opposition to the use of nuclear power. International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War. There have been many large anti-nuclear demonstrations and protests. and the Nuclear Information and Resource Service . The initial antinuclear objective was nuclear disarmament and later the focus began to shift to other issues.

Computer liquidators are just one example.Modern environmentalism y Conservation biology is a rapidly developing field. Environmentalism now has proponents in business: new ventures such as those to reuse and recycle consumer electronics and other technical equipment are gaining popularity. .

2007 witnessed the largest grassroots environmental demonstration in years. the environmental movement has increasingly focused on global warming as a top issue.400 communities and all 50 states for real global warming solutions. In the United States. Step It Up 2007. with rallies in over 1. . many environmental groups refocused their efforts. from the connections drawn between global warming and Hurricane Katrina to Al Gore's film An Inconvenient Truth.y In recent years. As concerns about climate change moved more into the mainstream.

EPA. Later on it became the Ministry of Environment and Forests in 1985. of Environment was established in India. to provide the protection and improvement of environment . OBJECTIVE is.1986 came into force soon after the Bhopal Gas Tragedy. 1986 In 1980.THE ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION ACT. the Deptt.

microorganism and property. ³ Environment´ It includes water. air and land and human beings. Also to safeguard the forests and wildlife of the country. article 48A. y y . to sec 51(A) every citizen shall protect the environment.y In EPA. other living creatures. including J&K. and land and the interrelationship which exists among and between water. specify that the State shall protect and improve the environment. air. EPA is applicable to whole India. Acc. plants.

y . or tend to be injurious to environment and human being.y "Environmental Pollutant" means any solid. is liable to cause harm to human beings or other living creatures. liquid or gaseous substance present in such concentration as may be. ³Hazardous Substance" means any substance or preparation which. by reasons of its chemical or physico-chemical properties.

³Occupier´ It means a person who has control over the affairs of the factory or the premises. that the very use of all or any of the air water and land by man and any other living organism becomes lethal and dangerous for health. it means the manufacturing. storage. The materials or substances when after mixing in air.y ³Handling´ In relation to any substance. destruction. and includes. collection. treatment. y y . processing. in relation to any substance. the person in possession of the substance. water or land alters their properties in such manner. packaging. conversion. offering for sale. etc ³Environmental pollution´ means imbalance in environment. use. transportation.

and soil for various areas and purposes. Prohibition and restriction on the handling of hazardous substances. Under Sec (3): may constitute authority or authorities for the purpose of exercising of performing such of the powers and functions. . water.POWERS PROVIDED BY THE ACT TO CENTRAL GOVTT y y y y y y To make rules to regulate environmental pollution. Under Sec (5): may issue directions in writing to any officers or any authority to comply. Under Sec (4): may appoint a person for inspection. and location of industries (Sections 3-6). To notify standards and maximum limits of pollutants of air.

operation etc. Under Sec (7): persons carrying on industry.y Under Sec (6): it empower the government to make rules to achieve the object of the Act. not to allow emission or discharge of environmental pollutants in excess of the standards Under Sec (8): persons handling hazardous substances must comply with procedural safeguards. y y .

5000 per day extra.PENALITY y y y Whoever Person found to be the cause of pollution. then imprisonment may extend up to 7 years. Section 17 specifies that Head of the department/ incharge of small unit may be liable for punishment if the owner /occupier produce enough evidence of innocence. If not comply fine of Rs. . still if not comply for more than one year. may be liable for punishment for a term which may extend to five years or with fine which may extend to one lakh rupees or both .

The Manufacture. and Import of Hazardous Rules.y y y y The state govtt. 1989 . ENVIRONMENTAL LAWS«. 1989 .1986 . 1986 . have power to close or cancel or deny the authorization to run the factory/institution/hospital whichever is causing pollution.Following is a list of the environmental legislations that have come into effect General Forest and wildlife Water Air General«.The Environment (Protection) Act.The objective of Hazardous Waste (Management and Handling) Rules. Storage.The Environment (Protection) Rules. 1989 .

The Indian Forest Act and Amendment. Use. 1992 FOREST AND WILDLIFE«. Import. and Storage of hazardous Micro-organisms/ Genetically Engineered Organisms or Cells Rules. Rules 1973 and Amendment 1991. Export.The Public Liability Insurance Act and Rules and Amendment.1927 .y The Manufacture. 1991 . 1972 . 1984.The Wildlife Protection Act. y y .

‡ The Act was amended in 1988 to conform closely to the provisions of the EPA.Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act. . ‡ The Act prohibits the discharge of pollutants into water bodies beyond a given standard. and lays down penalties for non-compliance. 1986. ‡ It set up the CPCB (Central Pollution Control Board) which lays down standards for the prevention and control of water pollution. 1974 This Act represented India¶s first attempts to comprehensively deal with environmental issues.

The Act provides means for the control and abatement of air pollution. Under the Act establishing or operating of any industrial plant in the pollution control area requires consent from state boards.ambient air quality standards were established. under the1981 Act. 1981 y y y y To counter the problems associated with air pollution. .Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act. The Act seeks to combat air pollution by prohibiting the use of polluting fuels and substances. as well as by regulating appliances that give rise to air pollution.

provides for protection to listed species of flora and fauna and establishes a network of ecologically-important protected areas. The WPA empowers the central and state governments to declare any area a wildlife sanctuary. There is a blanket ban on carrying out any industrial activity inside these protected areas. Amendment 1991 y y y y The WPA (Wildlife Protection Act). 1972. protect .The Wildlife (Protection) Act. It provides for authorities to administer and implement the Act. national park or closed area. 1972. regulate the hunting of wild animals.

International Agreements on Environmental Issues India is signatory to a number of multilateral environment agreements (MEA) and convention. .

‡ CITES does not seek to directly protect endangered species or curtail development practices that destroy their habitats. ‡ India became a party to the CITES in 1976. Rather. International trade in all wild flora and fauna in general and species covered under CITES.Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of wild fauna and flora (CITES). 1973 ‡ The aim of CITES is to control or prevent international commercial trade in endangered species or products derived from them. . it seeks to reduce the economic incentive to poach endangered species and destroy their habitat by closing off the international market.

UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). As per the convention the reduction/limitation requirements apply only to developed countries. which was ratified in November 1993. 1992 ‡ The primary goals of the UNFCCC were to stabilize greenhouse gas emissions at levels that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the global climate ‡ India signed the agreement in June 1992. .

‡ The only reporting obligation for developing countries relates to the construction of a GHG inventory. potential vulnerability to climate change. adaptation measures and other steps being taken in the country to address climate change . ‡ India has initiated the preparation of its First National Communication (base year 1994) that includes an inventory of GHG sources and sinks.

sustainable use of biological resources and equitable sharing of benefits arising from their sustainable use.Convention on Biological Diversity. . framework treaty that has been ratified until now by 180 countries. amended in 1991. 1992 ‡ The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is a legally binding. ‡ India¶s initiatives under the Convention include the promulgation of the Wildlife (Protection) Act of 1972. The CBD has three main thrust areas: conservation of biodiversity.

draft regulations are being prepared in an effort to control the movement of such waste. is strictly controlled and is undertaken in an environmentally sound and responsible way.Basel Convention . y .Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movement of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal y Ratified: May 1994 Acceded: 5 April 1994 The main objectives of the convention are the reduction of the production of hazardous waste and the restriction of transboundary movement and disposal of such waste. It also aims to ensure that any transboundary movement and disposal of hazardous waste. Locally. when allowed.

y . 27 August 1997 Ratified: 29 August 1997 The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change was signed by 154 governments in Rio de Janeiro during the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in June 1992. The convention addresses the threat of global climate change by urging governments to reduce the sources of greenhouse gases.United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) y Signed: 15 June 1993. The ultimate objective of the convention is to stabilise greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous interference with the climate system of the world.

The Convention will ensure obligatory detailed information exchange between countries on hazardous chemicals and pesticides allowing informed decisionmaking on the national use of such chemicals. South Africa signed the final Act in September 1998 and intends to ratify it shortly. A final text for the Convention was negotiated in March 1998. This convention will come into force during the year 2000.Convention on Prior Information Consent (PIC) .Rotterdam y y Signed: September 1998 Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for international trade in certain hazardous chemicals and pesticides. .

To further identify additional POPs as candidates for future international action y .Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) y To take international action to minimise risks associated with POP chemicals already identified and proven to pose a threat to the environment and human health through their toxicity and persistence.

including the Palaeoarctic (birds) and the Antarctic species (whales and birds). Special attention is paid to endangered species. reptiles.Bonn Convention .Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) y y Acceded: December 1991 This convention was organised in response to the need for nations to cooperate in the conservation of animals that migrate across their borders. . These include terrestrial mammals. marine species and birds. South Africa is a major partner in this convention as it is the terminus for many of the migratory species.

to promote international cooperation for the exchange of information and the freedom of scientific investigation. through its membership of the treaty.Antarctic Treaty Signed: 1 December 1959 Ratified: 21 June 1960 y Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) Council of Managers of National Antarctic Programmes (COMNAP) y The main purpose of the Antarctic Treaty is to regulate relations between countries involved in research in Antarctica. . y South Africa. the Conservation of Antarctic Seals. remains party to any decision-making with regard to Antarctic and the subAntarctic. the Agreed Measures of the Conservation of Antarctic Fauna and Flora and the Protocol on Environment Protection to the Antarctic Treaty. Included in the provisions of the treaty are that Antarctica shall be used for peaceful purposes only. which includes the ratification of the Conventions for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources.

and by climate variations. semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas and does not refer to the expansion of existing deserts. It is caused primarily by human activities.United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in Countries Experiencing Serious Droughts and/or Desertification. with the advice from representatives from the non-governmental organisation (NGO) sector. . through over-exploitation and inappropriate land use. Particularly in Africa y y Signed: 9 January 1995 Desertification is the degradation of land in arid. The Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism is responsible. for the coordination of the implementation of this convention in South Africa.

Convention on Wetlands of International Importance. The convention addresses one of the most important issues in South Africa. y Signed: 12 March 1975 Ratified: 12 March 1975 y y The broad aims of this convention are to stem the loss and promote the wise use of all wetlands. South Africa has designated 15 sites to the List of Wetlands of International Importance. A number of others are under consideration.Convention on Wetlands of International Importance. A Wetland Conservation Bill has been proposed which will help South Africa to meet the aims of the convention. Ramsar Convention . especially as Waterfowl Habitat.Ramsar Convention . . namely the conservation of the country¶s water supplies for the use of both the natural and the human environments. especially as Waterfowl Habitat.

however. South Africa also ratified the subsequent London Amendments to the protocol on 12 May 1992. South Africa has.Montreal Protocol . . Parliament has approved the ratification of the Copenhagen Amendments to the Protocol and the necessary steps are now being taken for the instrument for ratification to be deposited. acted in full compliance with these amendments. which were designed to restrict the use of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and halons.Protocol for the Protection of the Ozone Layer y y Ratified: 15 January 1990 The protocol is aimed at ensuring measures to protect the earth's ozone layer.

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